Saints NFL Playoff Scenarios for Week 17 in the NFC

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints can still lock up the NFC's No. 2 overall seed and a first-round bye in the 2013 NFL playoffs. They can also be eliminated from the playoff picture entirely. What happens is mostly up to the Saints themselves but also reliant upon two other key NFC games. Here are all the potential possibilities.

Below is a list of all the potential NFL Week 17 outcomes that affect the Saints 2013 playoff picture. All of these scenarios assume that the 49ers beat the Falcons tonight on MNF.

Obviously, the most important thing is for the Saints to win. That guarantees them a spot in the 2013 NFL playoffs. But what happens in the Panthers-Falcons and 49ers-Cardinals games greatly affects their exact playoff seeding. With some luck, the Saints could actually still grab the No. 2 overall seed and a first-round bye, though the most likely scenario is a No. 6 seed. If the Saints lose, then they're heavily dependent on luck to even make the playoffs.

  • If the Saints win and the Panthers lose, the Saints will get the No. 2 seed in the NFC and a first-round bye. The outcome of the 49ers/Cardinals game doesn't matter.
  • If the Saints win, the Panthers win, and the 49ers win/tie, the Saints will get the No. 6 seed.
  • If the Saints win, the Panthers win, and the Cardinals win, the Saints will get the No. 5 seed.
  • If the Saints lose, the Panthers win, and the 49ers win, the Saints will get the No. 6 seed.
  • If the Saints lose, the Panthers lose, and the 49ers win, the Saints will get the No. 6 seed.
  • If the Saints lose and the Cardinals win/tie, the Saints will not make the playoffs. It doesn't matter whether the Panthers win or lose.

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